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					                                            Table of Contents
Railnet – An Overview
Introduction ..........................................................................................................................2
Objectives ............................................................................................................................2
The Railnet Work .................................................................................................................2
Railnet General Arrangement ..............................................................................................6
Railnet Hardware Details .....................................................................................................6
IP Planning ...........................................................................................................................7
E-Mail addressing ................................................................................................................7
Railnet - Software Used .......................................................................................................8
Internet
Introduction ..........................................................................................................................9
Components of the Internet ..................................................................................................9
   World Wide Web ................................................................................................................ 9
   E-Mail ............................................................................................................................... 10
   Telnet................................................................................................................................. 10
   FTP .................................................................................................................................... 10
   E-Mail Discussion Groups ................................................................................................ 11
   Usenet News...................................................................................................................... 11
   FAQS, RFC, FYI............................................................................................................... 12
Understanding the World Wide Web.................................................................................12
   HyperText: The Motion of the Web.................................................................................. 13
   Pages on the Web .............................................................................................................. 13
   Retrieving Documents on the Web: The URL .................................................................. 14
   How to Access the World Wide Web: The Web Browser ................................................ 15
The Experience of the Web................................................................................................16
   Multimedia ........................................................................................................................ 16
   Programming Language and function ............................................................................... 17
   Real Time Communication ............................................................................................... 18
FOIS
Introduction ........................................................................................................................20
Mission Statement of FOIS ................................................................................................20
FOIS Design Architecture..................................................................................................20
FOIS System Architecture .................................................................................................21
Existing FOIS Network......................................................................................................22

                                      Railnet – An Overview

Introduction
    Railnet is the name of the Corporate Wide Information System (CWIS) of Indian
    Railways. It is aimed to provide computer connectivity between Railway Board, Zonal
    Railways, Production units, RDSO, Centralized Training Institutes, CORE,
    MTP/Kolkatta etc.
Objectives
   Railnet has been established with these objectives in mind:
                       the need to move paper documents between different
              ●Eliminate
                 documents and
              ●Change    from “Periodic Reporting” to “Information on Demand.”
   Railnet will expedite and facilitate quick and efficient automatic status update between
   Railway Board and Zonal Railway, as well as between divisions and Zonal Railway.
   Internet gateways have been established at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkatta and
   Secunderabad for access of Internet through Railnet.


The Railnet Work
   The Railnet Work was proposed to be completed in three phases.
   Phase I is planned to connect all the zonal Railway and production units with Railway
   Board. Phase II consists of connecting the divisions to the zonal Railways as well as
   connection the following to the Railway board.
              ●RDSO/LKO

              ●CORE/ALD

              ●MTP/CAL

              ●CTIs   viz. IRISET, IREEN, IRICEN, RSC, IRMEE
              ●Major   Training centers
    Phase III will connect the divisions with the important places like important stations,
   stores depot etc.


   Phase I of Railnet was commissioned by IRCOT1 through a contract agreement with
   Tata Infotech. IRCOT had done the following:
              1.Procurement, Installation and commissioning of Server, Router, switches,
                 modems etc.
              2.Testing and commissioning of Data Links.
              3.Loading and configuration of system software.
              4.Training of Railway personnel.
   The maintenance of Railnet infrastructure and the web pages is done by the
   concerned Railways. IRCOT has arranged proper training for officers as well as
   supervisors so that the maintenance becomes easy.


Railnet Phase I (Connectivity Diagram).




1Indian Railway Central Organisation of Telecommunication
  The connectivity diagram of Railnet Phase I is shown above. This constitute the
  backbone of Railnet. This phase connects the zonal headquarters of WR, ER, SR,
  NR to the Railway Board. The zonal HQ of SER, NFR, NER, CR and SCR are
  connected to one of the zonal HQ so as to get connectivity with Railway Board. The
  production units are also connected to the zones nearest to then so as to get
  connected with railway Board.


Railnet Phase II (Connectivity Diagram).
  The Railnet Phase II connectivity diagram is shown below. The backbone was further
  extended in this phase by a direct connection between SCR Hqs and Railway Board.
  The zonal Railways were connected to their divisions in this phase. The CTIs were
  connected to zones nearest to them in this phase. The major training centres were
  also connected to Railnet in this phase.


With the completion of Railnet Phase II, the major portion of Railnet is in place and
working. The Phase III that aims at extending it further to stores depot etc. is being done
at present. Railnet Phase II (Connectivity Diagram).
The diagram above shows the planned Railnet connectivity after Phase III. Almost
all of Indian Railways will be connected to Railnet after this phase.Railnet
General Arrangement
 The general arrangement of the equipments used in Railnet is shown in the diagram
 above. The WAN link (or the Railnet link) terminates at the router. The router in turn is
 connected to the switch. All the computers including the server is connected to the
 switch. Additional hubs/switches may be connected to this switch so as to extend the
 Railnet LAN further.
 Railnet users can exchange emails on the Internet. Commercial Dept. is extensively
 using Railnet for their “Complaint Center.” Railways have launched their web pages
 and they keep up to date information in these web pages. A Railnet authorized user
 can browse the Internet through Railnet. A Railnet user can share resources with a
 co-user on Railnet.


Railnet Hardware Details
 Railnet employs the following hardware component:
           ●Compaq    Server Compaq Proliant 1600R Rack Mounted.
           ●Cisco   Router Cisco 3640 and Cisco 2610.
           ●Switches   Cisco Catalyst 2924 XL with 22 10/100Mbps RJ45 port and 2
              FX (optical fibre) ports.
           ●Modem    RAD V.35 64kbps modems.
 These are the main constituent of the Railnet Hardware.


IP Planning
 Railnet uses the TCP/IP protocols that powers Internet as well. Because of the
 proven strength of these protocols, Railnet can be easily scaled for Internet as well.
 There will be no compatibility problem in scaling and the technology will be able to
 scale well for a large network.
 Railnet has used the private IP address of 10.0.0.0/8. The IP addressing scheme is
 uniform and consistent. The following table shown the network addresses of some of
 the major Railnet servers.
               Railnet Center                         Network Address
    Railway Board                           10.1.0.0/16
    Northern Railway                        10.2.0.0/16
    Western Railway                         10.3.0.0/16
    Eastern Railway                         10.4.0.0/16
    Southern Railway                        10.5.0.0/16
    South Central Railway                   10.51.0.0/16
    IRISET                                  10.195.0.0/16

 The Major Railnet equipments also has been given fixed numbers and the
 configuration of the whole of Railnet depends on proper addressing. The following
 table shows the IP addresses of the major equipments.


            Railnet Equipment                           IP Address
   Router                                10.X.2.1/16
   Railnet Server                        10.X.2.19/16

E-Mail addressing
 With the coming of Railnet, we have registered the Internet domain name
 “railnet.gov.in” and it is being used for Railnet mails. The table below gives the
 generic email addresses for some of the places of Railnet.


                   Place                             Email address
   SCR                                   user@scr.railnet.gov.in
   Railway Board                         user@rb.railnet.gov.in
   IRISET                                user@iriset.railnet.gov.in
Railnet - Software Used
   The following softwares are being used on Railnet servers.
              ●Windows     NT Server 4 as the Network OS.
              ●IIS   4.0 as the Web and FTP Server2.
              ●Lotus   Mail as a Mail Server.

         These are the main software components being used on the Railnet
                                         server.   Internet

Introduction
   The Internet is a computer network made up of thousands of networks worldwide. No
   one knows exactly how many computers are connected to the Internet. It is certain,
   however, that this number is in the millions and is increasing at a rapid rate.
   No one is in charge of the Internet. There are organizations which develop technical
   aspects of this network and set standards for creating applications on it, but no
   governing body is in control. The Internet backbone, through which Internet traffic
   flows, is owned by private companies.
   All computers on the Internet communicate with one another using the Transmission
   Control Protocol/Internet Protocol suite, abbreviated to TCP/IP. Computers on the
   Internet use a client/server architecture. This means that the remote server machine
   provides files and services to the user's local client machine. Software can be
   installed on a client computer to take advantage of the latest access technology.
   An Internet user has access to a wide variety of services: electronic mail, file transfer,
   vast information resources, interest group membership, interactive collaboration,
   multimedia displays, real-time broadcasting, shopping opportunities, breaking news,
   and much more.
   The Internet consists primarily of a variety of access protocols. Many of these
   protocols feature programs that allow users to search for and retrieve material made
   available by the protocol.


Components of the Internet

World Wide Web
   The World Wide Web (abbreviated as the Web or WWW) is a system of Internet
   servers that supports hypertext to access several Internet protocols on a single
   interface. Almost every protocol type available on the Internet is accessible on the
   Web. This includes e-mail, FTP, Telnet, and Usenet News. In addition to these, the
   World Wide Web has its own protocol: HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP.
   The World Wide Web provides a single interface for accessing all these protocols.

2Mostly being used as Web server only.
  This creates a convenient and user-friendly environment. It is no longer necessary to
  be conversant in these protocols within separate, command-level environments. The
  Web gathers together these protocols into a single system. Because of this feature,
  and because of the Web's ability to work with multimedia and advanced programming
  languages, the World Wide Web is the fastest-growing component of the Internet.
  The operation of the Web relies primarily on hypertext as its means of information
  retrieval. HyperText is a document containing words that connect to other documents.
  These words are called links and are selectable by the user. A single hypertext
  document can contain links to many documents. In the context of the Web, words or
  graphics may serve as links to other documents, images, video, and sound. Links
  may or may not follow a logical path, as each connection is programmed by the
  creator of the source document. Overall, the WWW contains a complex virtual web of
  connections among a vast number of documents, graphics, videos, and sounds.
  Producing hypertext for the Web is accomplished by creating documents with a
  language called HyperText Markup Language, or HTML. With HTML, tags are placed
  within the text to accomplish document formatting, visual features such as font size,
  italics and bold, and the creation of hypertext links. Graphics may also be
  incorporated into an HTML document. HTML is an evolving language, with new tags
  being added as each upgrade of the language is developed and released. The World
  Wide Web Consortium, led by Web founder Tim Berners-Lee, coordinates the efforts
  of standardizing HTML.
  The World Wide Web consists of files, called pages or home pages, containing links
  to documents and resources throughout the Internet.
  The Web provides a vast array of experiences including multimedia presentations,
  real-time collaboration, interactive pages, radio and television broadcasts, and the
  automatic "push" of information to a client computer. Programming languages such
  as Java, JavaScript and Visual Basic are extending the capabilities of the Web. An
  increasing amount of information on the Web is served dynamically from content
  stored in databases. The Web is therefore not a fixed entity, but one that is in a
  constant state of flux.


E-Mail
  Electronic mail, or e-mail, allows computer users locally and worldwide to exchange
  messages. Each user of e-mail has a mailbox address to which messages are sent.
  Messages sent through e-mail can arrive within a matter of seconds.
  A powerful aspect of e-mail is the option to send electronic files to a person's e-mail
  address. Non-ASCII files, known as binary files, may be attached to e-mail messages.
  These files are referred to as MIME attachments. MIME stands for Multimedia
  Internet Mail Extension, and was developed to help e-mail software handle a variety
  of file types. For example, a document created in Microsoft Word can be attached to
  an e-mail message and retrieved by the recipient with the appropriate e-mail program.
  Many e-mail programs, including Eudora, Netscape Messenger, and Microsoft
  Outlook Express, offer the ability to read files written in HTML, which is itself a MIME
  type.
Telnet
  Telnet is a program that allows you to log into computers on the Internet and use
  online databases, library catalogs, chat services, and more. To Telnet to a computer,
  you must know its address. This can consist of words (iriset.ac.in) or numbers
  (10.195.2.19). Some services require you to connect to a specific port on the remote
  computer. In this case, type the port number after the Internet address. Example:
  telnet 10.195.2.19 25.
  Telnet is available on the World Wide Web. Probably the most common Web-based
  resources available through Telnet are library catalogs. A link to a Telnet resource
  may look like any other link, but it will launch a Telnet session to make the
  connection. A Telnet program must be installed on your local computer and
  configured to your Web browser in order to work.


FTP
  FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. This is both a program and the method used to
  transfer files between computers. Anonymous FTP is an option that allows users to
  transfer files from thousands of host computers on the Internet to their personal
  computer account. FTP sites contain books, articles, software, games, images,
  sounds, multimedia, course work, data sets, and more.
  If your computer is directly connected to the Internet via an Ethernet cable, you can
  use one of several PC software programs, such as WS_FTP for Windows, to conduct
  a file transfer.
  FTP transfers can be performed on the World Wide Web without the need for special
  software. In this case, the Web browser will suffice. Whenever you download software
  from a Web site to your local machine, you are using FTP. You can also retrieve FTP
  files via search engines such as FtpFind, located at http://www.ftpfind.com/ This
  option is easiest because you do not need to know FTP program commands.


E-Mail Discussion Groups
  One of the benefits of the Internet is the opportunity it offers to people worldwide to
  communicate via e-mail. The Internet is home to a large community of individuals who
  carry out active discussions organized around topic-oriented forums distributed by e-
  mail. These are administered by software programs. Probably the most common
  program is the listserv.
  A great variety of topics are covered by listservs, many of them academic in nature.
  When you subscribe to a listserv, messages from other subscribers are automatically
  sent to your electronic mailbox. You subscribe to a listserv by sending an e-mail
  message to a computer program called a listserver. Listservers are located on
  computer networks throughout the world. This program handles subscription
  information and distributes messages to and from subscribers. You must have a e-
  mail account to participate in a listserv discussion group. Visit Liszt at
  http://www.liszt.com/ to see an example of a site that offers a searchable collection of
  e-mail discussion groups.
  Majordomo and Listproc are two other programs that administer e-mail discussion
  groups. The commands for subscribing to and managing your list memberships are
  similar to those of listserv.


Usenet News
  Usenet News is a global electronic bulletin board system in which millions of
  computer users exchange information on a vast range of topics. The major difference
  between Usenet News and e-mail discussion groups is the fact that Usenet
  messages are stored on central computers, and users must connect to these
  computers to read or download the messages posted to these groups. This is distinct
  from e-mail distribution, in which messages arrive in the electronic mailboxes of each
  list member.
  Usenet itself is a set of machines that exchanges messages, or articles, from Usenet
  discussion forums, called newsgroups. Usenet administrators control their own sites,
  and decide which (if any) newsgroups to sponsor and which remote newsgroups to
  allow into the system.
  There are thousands of Usenet newsgroups in existence. While many are academic
  in nature, numerous newsgroups are organized around recreational topics. Much
  serious computer-related work takes place in Usenet discussions. A small number of
  e-mail discussion groups also exist as Usenet newsgroups.
  The Usenet newsfeed can be read by a variety of newsreader software programs. For
  example, the Netscape Communicator suite comes with a newsreader program called
  Messenger. Newsreaders are also available as standalone products.


FAQS, RFC, FYI
  FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. These are periodic postings to Usenet
  newsgroups that contain a wealth of information related to the topic of the newsgroup.
  Many FAQs are quite extensive. FAQs are available by subscribing to individual
  Usenet newsgroups. A Web-based collection of FAQ resources has been collected by
  The Internet FAQ Consortium and is available at http://www.faqs.org/
  RFC stands for Request for Comments. These are documents created by and
  distributed to the Internet community to help define the nuts and bolts of the Internet.
  They contain both technical specifications and general information.
  FYI stands for For Your Information. These notes are a subset of RFCs and contain
  information of interest to new Internet users.
Chat and Instance Messenging
  Chat programs allow users on the Internet to communicate with each other by typing
  in real time. They are sometimes included as a feature of a Web site, where users
  can log into the "chat room" to exchange comments and information about the topics
  addressed on the site. Chat may take other, more wide-ranging forms. For example,
  America Online is well known for sponsoring a number of topical chat rooms.
  A variation of chat is the phenomenon of instant messenging. With instant
  messenging, a user on the Web can contact another user currently logged in and type
  a conversation. Most famous is America Online's Instant Messenger. ICQ is another
  commonly-used chat program.
Understanding the World Wide Web
 The World Wide Web is a system of Internet servers that supports hypertext to
 access several Internet protocols on a single interface. The World Wide Web is often
 abbreviated as the Web or WWW.
 The World Wide Web was developed in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee of the European
 Particle Physics Lab (CERN) in Switzerland. The initial purpose of the Web was to
 use networked hypertext to facilitate communication among its members, who were
 located in several countries. Word was soon spread beyond CERN, and a rapid
 growth in the number of both developers and users ensued. In addition to hypertext,
 the Web began to incorporate graphics, video, and sound. The use of the Web has
 now reached global proportions.
 Almost every protocol type available on the Internet is accessible on the Web.
 Internet protocols are sets of rules that allow for intermachine communication on the
 Internet. The following major protocols are accessible on the Web:
 E-mail (Simple Mail Transport Protocol or SMTP)
 Distributes electronic messages and files to one or more electronic mailboxes
 Telnet (Telnet Protocol)
 Facilitates login to a computer host to execute commands
 FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
 Transfers text or binary files between an FTP server and client
 Usenet (Network News Transfer Protocol or NNTP)
 Distributes Usenet news articles derived from topical discussions on newsgroups
 HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)
 Transmits hyptertext over networks. This is the protocol of the WWW.
 Many other protocols are available on the Web. To name just one example, the Voice
 over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows users to place a telephone call over the Web.
 The World Wide Web provides a single interface for accessing all these protocols.
 This creates a convenient and user-friendly environment. It is no longer necessary to
 be conversant in these protocols within separate, command-level environments. The
 Web gathers together these protocols into a single system. Because of this feature,
 and because of the Web's ability to work with multimedia and advanced programming
 languages, the World Wide Web is the fastest-growing component of the Internet.


HyperText: The Motion of the Web
 The operation of the Web relies primarily on hypertext as its means of information
 retrieval. HyperText is a document containing words that connect to other documents.
 These words are called links and are selectable by the user. A single hypertext
 document can contain links to many documents. In the context of the Web, words or
 graphics may serve as links to other documents, images, video, and sound. Links
 may or may not follow a logical path, as each connection is programmed by the
 creator of the source document. Overall, the WWW contains a complex virtual web of
 connections among a vast number of documents, graphics, videos, and sounds.
 Producing hypertext for the Web is accomplished by creating documents with a
 language called HyperText Markup Language, or HTML. With HTML, tags are placed
 within the text to accomplish document formatting, visual features such as font size,
 italics and bold, and the creation of hypertext links. Graphics may also be
 incorporated into an HTML document. HTML is an evolving language, with new tags
 being added as each upgrade of the language is developed and released. The World
 Wide Web Consortium, led by Tim Berners-Lee, coordinates the efforts of
 standardizing HTML.


Pages on the Web
 The World Wide Web consists of files, called pages or Web pages, containing
 information and links to resources throughout the Internet.
 Web pages can be created by user activity. For example, if you visit a Web search
 engine and enter keywords on the topic of your choice, a page will be created
 containing the results of your search. In fact, an increasing amount of information
 found on the Web today is served from databases, creating temporary Web pages
 "on the fly" in response to user queries.
 Access to Web pages may be accomplished by:
     1.Entering an Internet address and retrieving a page directly.
     2.Browsing through pages and selecting links to move from one page to another.
     3.Searching through subject directories linked to organized collections of Web.
        pages.
     4.Entering a search statement at a search engine to retrieve pages on the topic
        of your choice.


Retrieving Documents on the Web: The URL
 URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. The URL specifies the Internet address of
 a file stored on a host computer connected to the Internet. Every file on the Internet,
 no matter what its access protocol, has a unique URL. Web software programs use
 the URL to retrieve the file from the host computer and the directory in which it
 resides. This file is then displayed on the monitor connected to the user's local
 machine.
 URLs are translated into numeric addresses using the Internet Domain Name System
 (DNS). The numeric address is actually the "real" URL. Since numeric strings are
 difficult for humans to use, alphanumeric addresses are employed by end users.
 Once the translation is made, the Web server can send the requested page to the
 user's Web browser.
 Anatomy of a URL
 This is the format of the URL:
 protocol://host/path/filename
 For example, this is a URL on the home page of the courses of IRISET is
 http://www.iriset.ac.in/courses/index.html
  This URL is typical of addresses hosted in domains in the United States.
  Structure of this URL:
        1.Protocol: http
        2.Host computer name: www
        3.Third-level domain name: iriset
        4.Second-level domain name: ac
        5.Top-level domain name: in
        6.Directory name: courses
        7.File name: index.html
  Note how much information about the content of the file is present in this well-
  constructed URL.
Other examples:
       telnet://opac.albany.edu     the University at Albany library text-based
       catalog

       ftp://ftp.uu.net/graphics/picasso    a file at an ftp site

  Several top-level domains (TLDs) are common in the United States:
com                    commercial enterprise
edu                    educational institution
gov                    U.S. government entity
mil                    U.S. military entity
net                    network access provider
org                    usually nonprofit organizations

  New domain names were approved in November 2000 by the Internet Corporation for
  Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN): .biz, .museum, .info, .pro (for professionals)
  .name (for individuals), .aero (for the aerospace industry), and .coop (for
  cooperatives). These domain names are beginning to become available.
  In addition, dozens of domain names have been assigned to identify and locate files
  stored on host computers in countries around the world. These are referred to as
  two-letter Internet country codes, and have been standardized by the International
  Standards Organization as ISO 3166. For example:
  ch                       Switzerland
  de                       Germany
  jp                       Japan
  uk                       United Kingdom
  in                       India



How to Access the World Wide Web: The Web Browser
  To access the World Wide Web, you must use a Web browser. A browser is a
  software program that allows users to access and navigate the World Wide Web.
There are two types of browsers:
    1.Graphical: Text, images, audio, and video are retrievable through a graphical
       software program such as Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer. These
       browsers are available for both Windows-based and Macintosh computers.
       Navigation is accomplished by pointing and clicking with a mouse on
       highlighted words and graphics.
       You can install a graphical browser such as Netscape Navigator in your
       Windows-based machine. Navigator is available for downloading on the
       Netscape Web site: http://home.netscape.com/. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is
       available from the Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/. To use these
       programs to access the Web, you need a connection to the Internet. This is
       accomplish through such means as an ethernet connection, a dialup
       connection known as a SLPP or PPP, or a cable modem.
    2.Text: Lynx is a browser that provides access to the Web in text-only mode.
       Navigation is accomplished by highlighting emphasized words in the screen
       with the arrow up and down keys, and then pressing the forward arrow (or
       Enter) key to follow the link.
Extending the Browser: Plug-Ins
Software programs may be configured to work with the Web browser in order to
enhance its capabilities. When the browser encounters a sound, image or video file, it
hands off the data to other programs, called plug-ins, to run or display the file.
Working in conjunction with plug-ins, browsers can offer a seamless multimedia
experience. Many plug-ins are available for free.
File formats requiring plug-ins are known as MIME types. MIME stands for
Multimedia Internet Mail Extension, and was originally developed to help e-mail
software handle a variety of binary (non-ASCII) file attachments. The use of MIME
has expanded to the Web. For example, the basic MIME type handled by Web
browsers is text/html associated with the file extension .html.
A common plug-in utilized on the Web is the Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Acrobat
Reader allows you to view documents created in Adobe's Portable Document Format
(PDF). These documents are the MIME type application/pdf and are associated with
the file extension .pdf. When the Acrobat Reader has been configured to your
browser, the program will open and display the file requested when you click on a
hyperlinked file name with the suffix .pdf. The latest versions of the Acrobat Reader
allow for the viewing of documents within the browser window.
Web browsers are often standardized with a small suite of plug-ins, especially for
playing multimedia content. Additional plug-ins may be obtained at the browser's Web
site, at special download sites on the Web, or from the Web sites of the companies
that created the programs. The number of available plug-ins is increasing rapidly.
Once a plug-in is configured to your browser, it will automatically launch when you
choose to access a file type that it uses.
Beyond Plug-Ins: Active X
ActiveX is a technology developed by Microsoft which may make plug-ins less
necessary. ActiveX offers the opportunity to embed animated objects, data, and
computer code on Web pages. A web browser supporting ActiveX can render most
items encountered on a Web page. For example, Active X allows users to view three-
 dimensional VRML worlds in a Web browser without the use of a VRML plug-in. As
 another example of the power of ActiveX, this technology can allow you to view and
 edit PowerPoint presentations directly within your Web browser. ActiveX works best
 with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.


The Experience of the Web
 Today's World Wide Web presents an ever-diversified experience of multimedia,
 programming languages, and real-time communication. There is no question that it is
 a challenge to keep up with the rapid pace of developments. The following presents a
 brief description of some of the more important trends to watch.


Multimedia
 The Web has become a broadcast medium. It is possible to listen to audio and video
 over the Web, both pre-recorded and live. For example, you can visit the sites of
 various news organizations and view the same videos shown on the nightly television
 news. Several plug-ins are available for viewing these videos. For example, Apple's
 Quick Time Player downloads files with the .mov extension and displays these as
 "movies" in a small window on your computer screen. Quick Time files can be quite
 large, and it may take patience to wait for the entire movie to download into your
 computer before you can view it.
 The problem of slow download times has been answered by a revolutionary
 development in multimedia capability: streaming media. In this case, audio or video
 files are played as they are downloading, or streaming, into your computer. Only a
 small wait, called buffering, is necessary before the file begins to play. The
 RealPlayer plug-in plays streaming audio and video files. Extensive files such as
 interviews, speeches and hearings work very well with the RealPlayer. The
 RealPlayer is also ideal for the broadcast of real-time events. These may include
 press conferences, live radio and television broadcasts, concerts, etc. The Windows
 Media Player is another streaming media player. Many sites offer the option to use
 one player or the other.
 Shockwave presents another multimedia experience. Shockwave allows for the
 creation and implementation of an entire multimedia display combining graphics,
 animation and sound.
 Sound files, including music, may also be heard on the Web. It is not uncommon to
 visit a Web page and hear background music. Sound files are also available for
 downloading independent of Web page visits. Sound files of many types are
 supported by the Web with the appropriate plug-ins. The MP3 file format, and the
 choice of supporting plug-ins, is the latest music trend to sweep the Web. The famous
 Napster site allows for the exchange of MP3 files.
 Live cams are another aspect of the multimedia experience available on the Web.
 Live cams are video cameras that send their data in real time to a Web server. These
 cams may appear in all kinds of locations, both serious and whimsical: an office, on
 top of a building, a scenic locale, a special event, and so on.
Programming Language and function
 The use of existing and new programming languages have extended the capabilities
 of the We What follows is a basic guide to a group of the more common languages
 and functions in use on the Web today.
 CGI, Active Server Pages: CGI (Common Gateway Interface) refers to a
 specification by which programs can communicate with a Web server. A CGI
 program, or script, is any program designed to accept and return data that conforms
 to the CGI specification. The program can be written in any programming language,
 including C, Perl, and Visual Basic Script. A common use for a CGI script is to
 process an interactive form on a Web page. For example, you might fill out a form
 ordering a book through Interlibrary Loan. The script processes your information and
 sends it to a designated e-mail address in the Interlibrary Loan department.
 Another type of dynamically generated Web page is called Active Server Pages
 (ASP). Developed by Microsoft, ASPs are HTML pages that include scripting and
 create interactive Web server applications. The scripts run on the server, rather than
 on the Web browser, to generate the HTML pages sent to browsers. Visual Basic and
 JScript (a subset of JavaScript) are often used for the scripting. ASPs end in the file
 extension .asp.
 Java/Java Applets: Java is probably the most famous of the programming
 languages of the Web. Java is an object-oriented programming language similar to
 C++. Developed by Sun Microsystems, the aim of Java is to create programs that will
 be platform independent. The Java motto is, "Write once, run anywhere." A perfect
 Java program should work equally well on a PC, Macintosh, Unix, and so on, without
 any additional programming. This goal has yet to be realized. Java can be used to
 write applications for both Web and non-Web use.
 Web-based Java applications are usually in the form of Java applets. These are
 small Java programs called from an HTML page that can be downloaded from a Web
 server and run on a Java-compatible Web browser. A few examples include live
 newsfeeds, moving images with sound, calculators, charts and spreadsheets, and
 interactive visual displays. Java applets can tend to load slowly, but programming
 improvements should lead to a shortened loading time.
 JavaScript/JScript: JavaScript is a programming language created by Netscape
 Communications. Small programs written in this language are embedded within an
 HTML page, or called externally from the page, to enhance the page's functionality.
 Examples of JavaScript include moving tickers, drop-down menus, real-time
 calendars and clocks, and mouse-over interactions. JScript is a similar language
 developed by Microsoft and works with the company's Internet Explorer browser.
 VRML: VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) allows for the creation of three-
 dimensional worlds. These may be linked from Web pages and displayed with a
 VRML viewer. Netscape Communicator comes with the Cosmo viewer for
 experiencing these three-dimensional worlds. One of the most interesting aspects of
 VRML is the option to "enter" the world and control your movements within the world.
 XML: XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a Web page creation language that
 enables designers to create their own customized tags to provide functionality not
 available with HTML. XML is a language of data structure and exchange, and allows
 developers to separate view (presentation) from content.
Real Time Communication
 Text, audio and video communication can occur in real time on the Web. This
 capability allows people to conference and collaborate in real time. In general, the
 faster the Internet connection, the more successful the experience.
 At its simplest, chat programs allow multiple users to type to each other in real time.
 Yahoo messenger and RediffBol are prime examples of this type of program.
 More enhanced real-time communication offers an audio and/or video component.
 CU-See Me is one of the most popular software programs of this type. Even more
 elaborate are programs that allow for true real-time collaboration. Microsoft's
 NetMeeting and Netscape's Conference (available with Communicator) are good
 examples of this.
 Featured collaboration tools include:
     
     audio:    conduct a telephone conversation on the Web
     
     video:    view your audience
     
     file   transfer: send files back and forth among participants
     
     chat:    type in real time
     
     whiteboard:     draw, mark up, and save images on a shared window or board
     
     document/application         sharing: view and use a program on another's desktop
        machine
     
     collaborative     Web browsing: visit Web pages together
 Currently no standard exists that will work among all conferencing programs.


                                         FOIS

Introduction
 Indian Railways carry about 1.36 crores of passengers and 12 lakhs tons of goods
 every day. It runs about 8000 passenger trains and 5500 goods trains daily. Indian
 Railways has always played a major role in direct contribution to the socio-economic
 development of the nation. In this endeavor to undertake this massive and
 voluminous task as ‟ Life Line of the Nation „ IR has always been making continuous
 efforts to improve the quality of service and aim to achieve newer and higher heights
 of performance. Innovative ideas are being introduced in operations like Jumbo
 Rakes and Unit trains to transport bulk commodities. However, despite these efforts,
 IR no longer being the monopolized industry in the public distribution system to
 command the market, has been loosing out on business and its market share to other
 transport                                                                  industries.
 There has been a long standing demand of the industry for transparency in sharing of
 information to give the customers an up-to date business like environment. Railways
 in this millennium have decided not only to perform the traditional tasks of carrying
 passengers and goods efficiently, but also to change the mindset of working in a
 closed system. The great concern to improve on its market share has prompted
 Railways to have a multi pronged approach to the freight policy, as Continuous Cargo
  Visibility has always been a critical component of the Supply Chain Distribution
  Management System.
  To achieve this, out of the stated multi pronged new freight policy, a lot of
  emphasis has been laid on establishing a computerized FREIGHT
  OPERATIONS INFORMATIONS SYSTEMS (FOIS).



Mission Statement of FOIS
  ‘To give a total transparent system with continuous Cargo visibility and an up-
  to date business environment to the Customers with instant access to
  information regarding their consignments in transit for just in time inventory’.


  FOIS in an online real-time system based on current state of art technology and
  efficient communication system. It has a management tool to optimize utilization of
  costly assets and resources by improving the distribution of Rakes/wagons,
  scheduling and outing traffic. It provides continuous cargo visibility and enables the
  freight customers to have instant access to information regarding the current status of
  their consignment in transit for just in time inventory.


FOIS Design Architecture
FOIS is designed and developed in conformity with the state of art technology which is
scalable, maintainable, with open systems architecture and is based on the Indian
Railways organizational hierarchy, its present and future requirements. Based on the
business processes that are being adopted, the business model developed in the FOIS -
IT architecture is based on the assumptions:
       1.The current business practice of bulk movement in rake formation is the
          accepted norm for future also. Around 80 to 85% of traffic already moves in
          Rake, majority of which comprise of similar type of stock.
       2.Global perception is more important, with respect to tracking of consignment
          and Rakes rather than of individual wagon, locomotive and train. The insight
          and pipeline of consignment and rakes should be seamlessly available.
          Railways would like to share information on booking and movement of
          consignments with individual customers also.
       3.The operations and data capturing, will remain control centric for train, rake
          locomotive and stock management and terminal centric for booking, loading,
          unloading, and delivery for quite some time.
       4.Integrity of Operation and Commercial data is an absolute necessity. RMS and
          TMS application are conceptualized, to provide the integration with the other
          subsystems as and when they are developed.

  FOIS ultimately expects an event driven integrated reporting in real time, beginning
  with the tendering of Forwarding note to loading and generation of invoice, followed
  by load consists, train ordering and departure/arrival of load destination, unloading
   and delivery. The data thus captured is used for generating associated managerial
   reports on-line information (MIS). The data will also be used for expanding the scope
   to cover other functional areas of the remaining modules and can easily integrate with
   RMS/TMS using appropriate middle ware Technology for sharing information locally.
   Therefore, a strategic approach has been adopted to computerize IR operations by
   implementing RMS/TMS systems in a phased manner using modular approach.



FOIS System Architecture
   Intelligent terminals will be placed at the field locations to capture the data from the
   place of activity namely control offices, yards, goods sheds, C & W depot, Loco sheds
   etc., and connected to the identified Application Server through reliable
   communication links for transaction processing.
   Application servers are centrally placed at CRIS office. These servers are connected
   to the Zonal Hd. Qrs., Divisional Control Offices, yards, interchange points, and good
   sheds etc., with a reliable and integrated network. The servers are networked
   amongst themselves and to the central server for global level transactions.
   The central Server provides management Reports at board level and acts as
   repository of all the global data and also provides global services to maintain
   referential integrity of the databases including master files.


Existing FOIS Network
FOIS Connectivity at NR.
FOIS Connectivity at NER
FOIS connectivity at CR
FOIS Connectivity at SR
FOIS connectivity at WR
FOIS connectivity at SCR
FOIS connectivity at SER
FOIS connectivity at NFR
FOIS connectivity at ER

				
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